Activities for grade schoolers: Engineer some fun this winter!

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian

Engineering sounds like a big and overwhelming topic, especially for caregivers that aren’t as familiar or comfortable with science. But in fact, even babies and toddlers explore engineering! 

Engineering activities include:

  • Building (with blocks, legos, and more)
  • Construction
  • Cause and effect
  • Math
  • Paper airplanes

Not too overwhelming, right? Check out these fun websites and books for kid-friendly engineering fun.

Explore these websites

  • The Science Kids website offers free games, videos, worksheets, and experiments.
  • Learn about all the different styles of engineering, from civil to agricultural, biomedical to software. The TeachEngineering website includes informational sheets about each type of job, as well as curriculum and at-home exploration projects.
  • PBS offers a wide range of engineering games for preschool and early elementary-age kids. 
  • Common Sense Media recommends Games to tweens 9 and older. There are almost 100 games for developing various skills, though they are all mixed together. 

Read these biographies

Learn about a wide variety of real life engineers!

  • The STEM Trailblazers series highlights well-known people, like astrophysicist and space advocate Neil deGrasse Tyson, as well as successful people like Mars science lab engineer Diana Trujillo, environmental activist Wangari Maathai, and computer engineer Ruchi Sanghvi. 
  • Path to the Stars: My Journey From Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist is an autobiography of Sylvia Acevdo, engineer, rocket scientist, and former CEO of the Girl Scouts. It’s available in both English and Spanish.
  • Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge is the story of how Emily took over the work at the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband, the chief engineer, became ill.
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is an autobiography of William Kamkwamba, who designed a windmill to give his family electricity and the ability to pump water to save their land in Malawi. 
  • Kimberly Bryant: Founder of Black Girls Code details the launch of Black Girls Code as well as her experiences as a pioneering technology innovator.
  • The Wright Brothers weren’t the only people creating airplanes in the early 1900s! Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane is about a woman who worked in a patent office and saw so many different attempts to design a working airplane and knew she could do it better.
Shelley Harris

About Shelley

Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.